Chinese man released based on ‘insufficient evidence’ after serving 23 years in prison
by Anadolu Agency
BEIJINGFeb 01, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Feb 01, 2016 12:00 am
A Chinese man who served 23 years in prison was released Monday after a top court ruled that there was "insufficient evidence" to sentence him for a murder and arson in 1992.
The president of the high people's court in Hainan, where Chen Man was accused of killing a man and setting fire to a house to destroy evidence, bowed to Chen after he was exonerated by the Zhejiang Provincial High People's Court, the China Daily reported.
Chen had been detained since being accused of the 1992 murder, after which he was handed a death sentence with a two-year reprieve in Nov. 1994 for homicide and arson.
He and his family have been appealing the original and subsequent rulings ever since.
The case was opened for retrial by the Zhejiang court in April after China's top prosecuting authority lodged a protest.
Chen's lawyer, Wang Wanqiong, praised the apology by Hainan court officials, expressing contentment that her client's family could witness "the progress of rule of law."
The Daily quoted her as saying that the latest ruling reflected the principle of "no punishment in doubtful cases" under China's current Criminal Procedure Law.
Cheng Lei, associate law professor at Renmin University, expressed similar sentiments, referring to recent efforts to correct wrongful verdicts.
"Such correction, I believe, will urge police to be more careful in investigations and also avoid evidence illegally gained by torture," added Cheng.
Chen has become the defendant who served the most time before being released among disclosed cases in China, according to the Daily.
State media had earlier reported that 27 officials had been penalized in a separate case that saw an 18-year-old ethnic Mongol executed in 1996 for murdering and raping a woman in the country's north, only to be formally exonerated in 2014.
In 2005, a convicted serial rapist and murderer who allegedly killed 10 women confessed to the crime.